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Transcript: Mike Smith Interview

On the offensive line after reviewing film:
"I watched the tape and I want to say we did some good things in the game. We had some guys that played well. I thought that Kroy Biermann played well; I thought that Matt Bosher punted the ball well, and I thought that Corey Peters played exceptionally well. In regards to the offensive line, we gave up way to many sacks, and often times people want to pinpoint it on one person. That is not the case, unless you know what the protection is, what the front is and know who is responsible for who is on twists and such. You can't blame one person. It is a unit, and the unit didn't play very well through the first half and through their first series in the second half. We've got to get better; we can't have our quarterback hit that many times. We also have to make sure there are not just physical things we have to correct, but there are mental things as well. They are all correctible, we gave up way to many hits, but that is really my take after watching the tape four or five times."

On whether you fix the mental situations in the film room or on the field:
"Both places, you are always working mentally in the film room, but on the football field you have to work mentally as well. Some guys take it better from watching it on tape or in the meeting room. There are other guys that can handle it better here on the field. The most important thing is that we can handle it on the field. Again, as a unit we did not play up to our standards in the first half as an offensive line. It is all correctible, it wasn't one person it was the entire unit. "

On Robert Alford:
"I think Robert got put into a situation where he was put into the game in the second or third play of the ball game. It was a great learning experience for him. He did some things that I think were positive, but he did some things that we have to correct, just like our offensive line, both mentally and physically. At the same time guys, what you see on film isn't always what actually happens. What I mean by that is, there are coverages where there are leverages, where people are expecting help from and there's times where it comes and there's times where it doesn't. They guy that is closest to the ball is not always the guy that is responsible for giving up big plays. Unless you know what the coverage is, you really don't have a feel for that. I thought it was a learning experience. Robert is going to have to play better; he is a young guy we are counting on. I thought it was a great learning experience for him. It will pay dividends down the road."

On Asante Samuel returning for week 1:
"Yes. Asante left the game; Peria Jerry left the game. Peria was back out on the field today. We anticipate Asante will be back for the Saints game."

On Roddy White:
"Yes, Roddy is on schedule to be back for the Saints game."

On Koetter saying the offensive line will be ready when game planning:
"Absolutely, when you say that you're game planning, you are going through the process of game planning. As I said last week, you want to see what your guys can do and what your guys can handle, not only on the offensive side but on the defensive side as well. You are going to know there are going to be match ups that you like and there are going to be match ups that you are concerned about. When you have those match ups that you are concerned about that is what a coach's job is, to put people in those positions where they are going to be successful. We didn't show, and through the preseason we won't show, all the things we've been working on the offseason. There are 31 other teams that are doing the same thing. It will be the fun part of the opening weekend to see all the new wrinkles that all the teams across the League are using."

On Matt Bryant:
"Matt Bryan is still working with the trainers. We anticipate he will be ready to go for the opening game."

On the front 7 being able to get to the quarterback with more consistency this year:
"I thought that Kroy Biermann rushed the quarterback well this past game, as well as Corey Peters. I am confident. Again, there is different ways you can manufacture pass rush, you can do 4 man rushes, 5 man rushes, and that is our job. Hopefully, we will be able to put enough pressure on with the 4 man that we are not having to manufacture too often. You have to end up trying to beat protections."

On Drew Davis and Kevin Cone:
"I thought we didn't catch the ball as well with those two guys. We had a couple of mental errors. Those guys have been around here for a couple of years. We got good play out of Drew Davis last year and I think he is continuing to progress in their role as the 4th and 5th receiver. I think they are very solid in those roles."

On the starters potentially playing in the fourth preseason game:
"Our plan is to do just what we've done in the past. We are not going to change how we've done it. We've never had a game where we have gone out there and made a statement that the starters aren't going to play. We're going to play the game this week in terms of our substitution pattern, just like we have the last two or three years."

On Bradie Ewing:
"I thought Bradie did a nice job in his first action coming back. He was able to help us and get some snaps, 14 snaps I believe on offense and then he had some snaps on special teams as well. Bradie is going to be a contributor for us on special teams."

On Joplo Bartu:
"Bartu played the dime position for us in the game. We wanted to see how he handled it; I thought he handled it pretty well. He had a nice forced fumble on the quarterback scramble. He did some things in coverage that we liked. We are just trying to put together and mix and match right now what we feel like is going to give us the best opportunity to put the guys in the best positions. I'm very impressed with the way he handled his role in our nickel package."

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